December 16, 2011
Governor Confirms Disruption to Well Woman Program, Planned Parenthood Asks Why After 16 Years?
In response to public pressure around the elimination of Planned Parenthood from the WWWP program, Governor Walker yesterday confirmed that he is ending Planned Parenthood’s role after 16 years, but provided no explanation of why or who will resume the services. Astoundingly, the Department of Health Services own spokesperson said that the Department of Health Services had not come to a decision regarding the contract, but apparently the Governor already has.
The Governor’s statement added new concerns regarding his plans to interrupt direct cancer screenings and care provided by Planned Parenthood under the Well Woman Program across the state. Planned Parenthood is one of the founding partners of the Wisconsin Well Woman Program started in 1995 under Governor Tommy Thompson to ensure underinsured women receive timely access to cervical and breast cancer screenings. Since then, Planned Parenthood’s service in the program has been regarded as a model and praised by patients and community health partners.
“To suddenly and inexplicably interrupt the model service that Planned Parenthood has been providing to women under the Well Woman Program in the Fox Valley is an unnecessary and dangerous disruption of a program that more than 1000 women rely on,” stated Teri Huyck, President and CEO for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. “If the Governor is willing to end Planned Parenthood’s service administering the program in the Fox Valley, will he end Planned Parenthood’s cancer screening and referral services under this program across the state?”
The 1,000 women currently enrolled in the Well Woman Program in the Fox Valley currently rely on staff housed in Planned Parenthood to coordinate their care. The state has yet to communicate to Planned Parenthood or the area service providers and patients who will be assuming this critical cancer care coordination.
“As one of the vital community health care partners who provides services under the Well Woman Program, we reiterate our call on the Governor and Secretary Smith to provide clarification for the plan to serve the women enrolled in the Well Woman program as well as the rational behind the disruption to Planned Parenthood services,” stated Huyck. “Likewise, we call on them to provide assurances that Planned Parenthood will remain an essential partner in delivering the cancer care services to Wisconsin women statewide.”
For over 75 years, Planned Parenthood has been a trusted nonprofit health care provider that provides professional, reliable, and quality health care — including birth control, lifesaving cancer screenings, annual exams, and STD testing and treatment — to over 70,000 women and men across Wisconsin.